Text José Silva
Located up in the mountain of Montejunto, not far from the sea, this estate belongs to the Lisbon wine region. And it’s from that sea that the sub-region of Óbidos receives a direct influence of strong, fresh and salty winds as well as a good solar exposure.
I am talking about Quinta do Convento da Nossa Senhora da Visitação which associates a housing tourism and services unit, along with a wine production with some importance in the region.
The old buildings were very well recuperated to rooms where they serve meals to groups and events as well as for a hotel unit with high standard although of small dimension, of which is part a very old chapel (also well renewed) and a lake that gives the exterior space a bucolic look.
Standing out there are some very large trees, which stoically resist to frequent high winds, of sometimes great violence.
One of those buildings was turned in to a wine cellar, where they have modern machinery, protected by the thick walls’ ancientness.
Below the wine cellar, in the cask room, rest the to be aged wines. In the estate’s pinnacle, inside an old windmill, a very cozy suite was made, providing a wonderful view over the ridge and plain below, and over the ocean in the background. On the clearest days, we can sight the Berlengas archipelago.
But we were there also to taste some of the house’s wines, and we did it in a quiet place, close to the cellar.
First and foremost the curiosity of a white wine made of 2012 vintage grapes Sauvignon Blanc and Fernão Pires, an interesting marriage between two so different kinds of grape varieties, one Portuguese, the other one with French origin. It showed up in light yellow, citric, crystal clear, full of freshness in the nose, with exotic white fruit notes and a very slight vegetable touch. Good structure in the mouth, keeping freshness and presenting a well-balanced acidity, with character and great final.
Another white wine came, now of a single kind of grape variety, Semillion, also from 2012 vintage. It showed medium yellow colour, crystal clear. Intense and refined nose, with some complexity, white fruit aromas, apricot, pear, a slight honey touch, and a bit smokey. Keeps that complexity in the mouth, good volume, a very present acidity but well balanced, some matured fruit, round and intense, great final.
Then we went to the red wines, with Regional Lisboa 2007. Intense rubi colour, very clean, with intense red fruit aromas, some freshness, smoke notes. In the mouth it is a simple wine, well structured, with red fruit notes, the curiosity of being made with grape varieties Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Pinot Noir and Caladoc, this last one not so usual. Chocolate notes, some smoke and a long tasty final.
Still on the reds, we tasted Premium 2007, result of the combination of the grape varieties of Pinot Noir, Tinta Roriz and Caladoc, providing an intense rubi colour, very clean. In the nose the intensity of black fruit aromas, some smoke and an interesting touch of eucalyptus. In the mouth it keeps matured black fruit notes, very present acidity, very well tamed tannins, very refined, some freshness, round and persistent, with a long and safe final.
Then came a red Pinot Noir from 2007. The same intense rubi colour, very clean, intense red fruit aromas, slight smokey notes, refined, exquisite. Austere in the mouth, refined, some red fruit, sweet and round tannins, wonderful acidity and some freshness, presenting a medium intense final.
Syrah 2008 was too made with one grape variety, also with intense rubi colour, very clean. This time very different aromas, red fruit notes, black chocolate, intense spices and some smoke. Intense in the mouth, authoritarian, powerful but tamed tannins, black fruit notes, wonderful acidity, black chocolate touch, with long and persistent final in a wine with race.
To end, we tasted Reserva 2007, with grape varieties of Touriga Nacional and Syrah. It keeps the rubi colour, very clean. An extraordinary nose, refined, with high complexity, mature black fruit notes and some smoke. In the mouth, intense, much presence of black fruit, some black chocolate, well-balanced acidity and tannins already tamed providing it some austerity, a very complex but refined wine, with great final.
Far away, we can still see the sea…
2580-442 Vila Verde dos Francos
Tel: (+351) 210 330 780